Foundry Vanuatu x Thomson Manuka Smoke Whisky 70% - 2023's release


Where there's smoke... There's desire

We’ve introduced Thomson Manuka Smoke Single Malt whisky to our Pinalum, Vanuatu chocolate and the combination is an elegant voyage down the river of delight.

Together, this power couple exudes a palate-seducing flood of sensual malt-laden luxury, creamy caramel character and just a playful tickle of spice and smoke.

We celebrate the unique personalities of the world’s finest cacao by crafting and ageing micro-batches of two-ingredient chocolate, and once a year, we play matchmaker here in our little Mahurangi foundry.

This very limited-run 70% bean-to-bar chocolate began with cacao from a little pocket of forest in the hills of Malekula Island.

David then steeped these superb cacao nibs in a lavish torrent of New Zealand’s own Thomson Manuka Smoke Single Malt Whisky.

Then we get to work in our little chocolate factory to create a bar brimming with smouldering sensuality.

This years bespoke packaging illustration has been designed by Janelle to represent the cascading flavour journey of the bar.

It's only once a year we release our limited special edition whisky infused treats, with each bar and micro-batch numbered by hand, once they're gone, they're gone.


Please note the batch number you receive will differ from the one pictured.

Ingredients: Cacao Beans, Organic Cane Sugar, Thomson Manuka Smoke Single Malt Whisky. No added cacao butter, lecithin or vanilla.

Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Soy Free and 100% Plant Based. Also alcohol free, the way we make the chocolate ensures all alcohol is evaporated off, leaving just the most amazing flavour notes. 

Thomson Whisky and Manuka Smoke Single Malt information:
Thomson Whisky, based in Riverhead, Auckland, seek to satisfy the treasure hunter within. Committed to quality over volume Thomson Whisky release only a limited number of hand-selected whiskies each year and is proudly 100% NZ owned and operated.

Thomson love what they do; making craft whisky for the modern enthusiast. Artisan. Premium. Progressive. By traditional methods for contemporary ends – it’s all about a passion for the spirit, creativity, and respect for the process.

Manuka Smoke Single Malt is a distinctly NZ dram using native Manuka Wood smoke. It's made from 100% New Zealand grown malted barley, which has been kiln-smoked with native Manuka wood and distilled through copper pot stills. This single malt whisky offers flavours of natural smoke, cinnamon, clove, and Manuka oils on the palate.

Cacao origin information:
Located on the lush and remote Malekula Island, the small group of famers from Pinalum Village have been specialising in fine flavour cacao since 2015.

Organised by the tireless Olivier Fernadez from Gaston Cacao and managed by local villager Lily Buktan, this well run operation is challenging the traditional supply chain model that drives commodity prices down. With their work, the price that farmers individually get in hand is up to two to three times above the previous market practice.

When Olivier visits Pinalum, it’s a journey to get there. He loads his dirt bike onto the overnight ferry from Port Vila, then it’s a 30 minute ride along coral, gravel and sand roads, which get very muddy during the rainy season. Once at the village it’s incredibly lush, close to the coast, and surrounded by palm trees. After the days work it's a social time, sharing food by the fire and drinking kava.

At Pinalum the boss is Lily. She oversees the fermentation and drying station, and works with her extended family to do the fermentation, drying, packing, storage and payroll.

Since Olivier started working with the farmers in 2015, he has deconstructed the traditional industrial model, and works to pay the famers as much as possible for growing fine flavour cacao. This involved building fermentation stations, drying stations and training individual farmers. Side projects have been developed to provide basic water and electricity services.

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